I liked her. She is a downhome speaker, charming, smart. Her homily today was “depression” and who isn’t depressed today. Common sense and funny. She preaches in one of those huge venues with hundreds of people. The camera pans these people quite often, and they are shining with the quality of belief – they are happy and look healthy. She made a lot of sense to me. Matter of fact, she revved my engine – I’m going to work on library board stuff today which I’ve put off for days.
My own religious background is urban Catholic. I see the Church as a cultural institution, and believe in ways which are different than when I was a child. I won’t bore you with this but the Church is important to me. I do not believe the Church is the true religion as I was taught in the second grade – People are free to believe (or not believe) as they choose if they are tolerant of others and have decent instincts – none of my business. Nor does the Church teach this anymore. My son was taught way differently than I was so I know it has changed. And I don’t like when the Church is dissed for reasons of faith – this is the religion of my family, my nana, my parents and childhood. Sure politically the Church is up for discussion – why not? Though I don’t believe it’s the voting block it’s made out to be. My own Catholic friends and family are all over the place. The power of the Church lies in primate ties of family, friends, memories. Emotional but again – I am comfortable with metaphysics, so not threatened by myriad ways to peace, enlightenment, cohesion in life. Plus communion gives me peace, and I believe in grace.
My question to the community is: Have we given up on these people in Ms. Meyer’s audience? Do we consider them intellectually clipped, stunted, unworthy of our attention? Politically, they probably are conservative (this is the meme, isn’t it?) but individually each is different – and no doubt have the same good qualities we here foster and respect in the progressive community. Politically have we ceded? Seriously asking – I think we have.
My takeaway. I felt better after I watched Ms. Meyer. I couldn’t stand being in such a crowd – smacks of conformity. But that’s me. That’s not them and there are a lot of them out there. Have we given up on these souls? We shouldn’t.
I purposely did not research Ms. Meyer – I wanted to post this while I was feeling the effects of her homily – she does have a certain gift.
Caveat: I don’t agree with the Church’s official position (and neither do my family or friends) on gays, abortion. The priest scandal pains me deeply. The American Church is quite different from Rome – Conservative Catholics are quite at odds with liberal Catholics. We are not a monolith. Really, discussing such matters is not what I’m after – I’ll be happy to delete the diary if the comments are not politically motivated.
UPDATE: I just researched Joyce Meyer. Oi Vey! But these people believe mightily and they must have access to google, and have probably read of her travails in the local papers.